Robert Beckworth had a complicated employment history. A former Machinist Mate with the United States Navy, Beckworth was serving a 30 year federal prison sentence when he found out he was eligible for early release. After finding himself a free man 13 years earlier than expected, he made his way to SC Works McAlister Square Greenville in November of 2015.
SCWorks center representatives evaluated Beckworth to help determine his best employment opportunities; however, he was found to have multiple Significant Barriers to Employment (SBE’s). He was referred to Disabled Veteran Outreach Program representative (DVOP) Carolyn Washington. Although he needed a place to stay, a job and basic computer skill training, Washington was impressed by Beckworth’s attitude towards life and his dedication to being successful. Despite his hurdles, he told Washington that he wanted commercial driver’s license (CDL) training in order to advance himself. Washington referred Beckworth to the Alston Wilkes Society for help with housing and to the public library for one-on-one computer training. He was referred to Laura Eggleton, who introduced him to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) program. Eggleton also helped him schedule a WorkKeys® testing opportunity to identify his skillset.
He stayed diligent in his search for a job and got a position with McDonalds after attending an SC Works recruitment event. While continuing to work there for several more months, Beckworth learned in February that his application for CDL training had been approved through WIOA, covering his educational expenses. He graduated the Truck Driver Training Course just over two months later and received his CDL-A license. This month, he will be travelling to Kentucky to attend orientation for his new job with PTL Trucking Company in Greenville, SC.
In an email to Washington, Beckworth wrote “Now phase two of my life starts.” He is grateful for a second chance to be a productive citizen. Because of the teamwork between the SCDEW Veterans Outreach Office and the SC Works WIOA program, he has been given another opportunity to succeed.